“I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart;
I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done.”
(Psalm 9:1, NLT)
Why is it I only find it easy tell others about something marvelous the Lord has done after the fact, but not during? The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina¹ for example. While I would not want to go through it all again, I can honestly say I am awed by what the Lord did for me and through me during the months and years following. He carried me in the lonely days of sorting through the mess and cleaning/salvaging what I could. He taught me what it meant to trust in Him alone. He also provided me the strength and sanity needed to survive my time as the children’s director when we had an influx of children from the nearby FEMA trailer park. While I love organizing, planning and writing lessons, teaching children is not an area I am gifted in. The kids wore me out. Truly, Jesus is true to the fact that all who come, weary and burdened, He provides rest (from Matthew 11:28). The fact that I survived is a testimony of the power of His strength, not mine. In the end, He wrote each child’s name upon my heart. And I will tell you, that is a marvelous thing.
One would think, having seen and testified to the things the Lord has done, it would be easy to trust Him. But often, that’s not the case. Instead, when a new trial or difficulty rises up, or even something as simple as a disruption to my schedule or plans, I fret and worry. When I really think about it, it’s not because I don’t believe God can, it’s more a matter of whether He will and whether I trust His decision.
I prayed fervently, as I know many did, for Hurricane Katrina to weaken in strength, but she did not. I probably begged the Lord to bring someone else along to lead the kids, but He did not (although He did provide a wonderful husband who helped and encouraged me). Although I know He has done marvelous things, His decisions are not always what I would have chosen. It’s not until later, when I look back on what He’s done in and through the situation that I say “I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart.”
I am trying to change. I want to be able to trust, from the start, the Lord to do marvelous things. But I can only do so by allowing God to change the way I think (from Romans 12:2) and then choose to praise Him.
What difficult situations are you in right now? Are you able to trust that the Lord has done and will do marvelous things? How might you allow Him to change your thinking in the midst of the situation so you can praise Him with all your heart?
Father, help me choose to praise you at start of my circumstances, in the middle of them, and after, knowing I can trust you to do marvelous things through it all.
¹(side note on Hurricane Katrina: next year is the the 10th anniversary of her visit to the Gulf Coast and I plan to post my email journal of the experience as blogs coinciding with the days I wrote them.